According to Darby, their lease with building owner Michael O’Shaughnessy lapsed earlier in the spring, but Darby and Cagle weren't in a rush to renew it. “We thought that we had a good working relationship with the landlord, and there’s no denying that the Surf Bar is a successful business,” Darby says. “We initially had a one-year lease, and then we had a three-year lease. We just assumed that we’d get around to signing the next lease sometime soon.”
After hearing some chatter, Cagle contacted the building owner. Cagle was then told by O’Shaughnessy that he was not offering the owners a new lease. “We’ve always paid our rent on time, so there’s no dispute over money,” Darby says.
Darby believes the situation is still very much up in the air. They have no lease, but they have no deadline to vacate, either. “If the landlord came back to us and said, ‘I’ve had a change of heart’ and offered us another lease, I think we’d take it. Otherwise, we’ll probably leave sometime soon," he says. "I wish I could tell my staff, customers, and friends what’s going on, but I really don’t know right now. I’ve had people approaching me on the street and hugging me and even crying. You get all the good and bad emotions, the encouragement and a little bit of anger and all that. I think whatever good or bad falls out of this will fall out.”
O’Shaughnessy sent an e-mail to the City Paper on Monday. In it, he says that Darby has never spoken with the building owner about the lease renewal or discussed it with him in any form of communication. O’Shaughnessy also says that his e-mails to Cagle have not been returned.
Darby and Cagle have run the cozy, rustic tavern and restaurant at 103 East Cooper Ave. for four years. Situated a half-block off of Center Street, the Surf Bar has developed a loyal local clientele and established itself as one of the more popular non-touristy hangouts on the island. They serve a full menu of food, beer, and specialty cocktails, and they regularly book local and musical acts. Charleston groups Dangermuffin and Guilt Ridden Troubadour regularly play at the establishment.
Darby says that Dangermuffin’s unplugged side project AcousticMuffin is still solid for a performance at the venue on Sun. June 17, and Guilt Ridden Troubadour’s weekly Wednesday jam session is still on for next week.
Update: The Surf Bar is currently doing business on Folly Beach and is booking live music.
Located in a small shopping plaza at 1662 Savannah Hwy. (behind D.D. Peckers), the Rock Lounge had its ups and downs. The City Paper rarely received or obtained band calendars or updates from the club over the last six months. There’s no word yet on what Webb might do next, or what might come into the space.
Contestants must be at least 18 years of age, and no nudity is allowed. The winner of each round gets a $500 cash prize and a chance to go to the finals in August. Charlotte-based party-rock band Blue Monday performs at the club at 10 p.m. after the first round winds down.
Upcoming Bikini Bash entertainment includes performances by the Average Savage, the Corbitt Brothers, and Tropix International Sounds. Check out the-windjammer.com for more.
“Being musicians ourselves, Cami and I are looking to make it not only a place that people will want to see shows and hang out, but also a place where bands love to play,” says Smith. “I want them to roll in and be like, ‘Heck yeah, I want to play here all the time.’ We are even taking the piano out of my house and putting it on stage.” The Sparrow’s opening day showcase will include performances by local songwriters Joel Hamilton and Jordan Igoe, indie-rock trio HeyRocco, and Trenton, N.J.-based garage band the Cryptkeeper Five.
The bar plans to offer a strong selection of imports and craft beers, including local ales and lagers from Holy City Brewing. The food menu will include traditional bar fare, salads, soups, sandwiches, “white trash” nachos, “bomb-ass” wieners, and boiled peanuts. Charleston visual artist Doug Panzone is already working on large-scale murals on some of the venue’s walls. Visit facebook.com/thesparrowparkcircle for more info.
There’s a new club opening for business this week in the Crickentree Village in Mt. Pleasant at 1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Jon’s Mixed Drinks is set to open on Fri. Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. in the space previously occupied by the Village Tavern, which closed down on Jan. 21 after a tough year-and-a-half run.
Entrepreneur Jon Turecki bought the club last month and booked a few local acts to play the opening weekend. Murrell’s Inlet-based groove-rock band Ten Toes Up is set to perform on the main stage at 10 p.m. on Friday night.
On Sat. Feb. 11, Bobby & Hank & Friends — featuring singer/guitarists Bobby Houck and Hank Futch of the Blue Dogs — perform acoustic and full-band sets starting around 8 p.m. Guests include drummer Scotty Price, guitarist Kevin Wadley, and a few surprises as well. “Jon loves music, and he will certainly bring music in there,” Houck says. "He says his focus is to be a great neighborhood bar.”
Turecki previously managed a number of Denver venues run by a company called Don’s Mixed Drinks. Stay tuned for more info on the bar menu, specialty drinks, and music schedule.